Lean poultry Italian sausage gets covered in sauce, bell peppers, and onions and then simmers all day in the slow cooker. Enjoy as is or serve in a hoagie roll or over a bed of whole grain pasta. Delish!
Easy slow cooker recipes make me happy. There’s nothing better than throwing a few ingredients into a slow cooker and 6-8 hours later enjoying a delicious healthy homemade meal. Even now, working from home, I can still appreciate a good slow cooker recipe. I’m busy during the day, and often not home, so it’s nice to start a slow cooker recipe by 9:00am and check dinner off my todo list for the day.
This Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers recipe is one of those recipes. It reminds me a little of the slow cooker meatball sub recipe I shared last year but it has more vegetables.
I was inspired to make this recipe because I had a lot of bell peppers left over from the week before. I planned to eat all of these peppers for snacks but clearly that didn’t happen. Since I didn’t want risk throwing them out I decided to use them in a recipe. There’s about 6 bell peppers here. Honestly, you could probably use more because the peppers cook down quite a bit. Or you can use less. This is a recipe thats hard to screw up.
Of course, I had a lonely onion in my refrigerator that was patiently waiting to be used in a recipe. I cut it in half and then sliced it up. Again, the onions cook down a lot so you could easily use 2 onions.
Now lets talk about the sausage. I love poultry Italian sausage. Love it! It’s delicious and cuts the fat and calories in all my Italian recipes. If you haven’t used poultry sausage yet I recommend giving it a try. I purchase mine from Wegmans. For this recipe I used 6 links which was about 1.5 – 2 lbs. Again, you could add more if you like. It depends on the size of your slow cooker. I use a 6-quart programmable slow cooker by Hamilton Beach. It works great. **if you add more sausage or switch up the ingredients it will change the nutritional information. I figured out the nutrition information using 6 links and 6 bell peppers. Just FYI.
Next let’s discuss my favorite secret weapon in slow cooker recipes. Jarred sauce. Yup! Sure I could make a huge pot of sauce every couple months, portion it out, and freeze it for future recipes but…I forget, run out of time, and high-quality jarred sauce works just fine. As someone who grew up with an Italian mom and Grandma I would never dream of using jarred sauce. Not that I judged people who did but it’s not something that was in my house. Anyway, in my busy life, I’m not above jarred sauce. Sorry Grandma.
For this recipe I grabbed a jar of Wegmans Organic Roasted Garlic Sauce. You can use whatever sauce you like. I don’t think it really matters because the sauce will take on the flavor of the peppers and onions anyway. You will need about 2 1/2 – 3 cups of sauce.
Don’t get mad but I did add an extra step to this recipe. I think it’s important to brown the sausage before adding them to the slow cooker. This step creates deeper flavor and better texture. Don’t worry it doesn’t take long. If you don’t have time to do this in the morning then consider browning the sausage the night before or you can even do it over the weekend and then keep the sausages in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to make the recipe. See, I have solutions for everything xoxo
I cut the links in half before adding them to the pan.
After the sausages are browned, add them to the slow cooker. Then it’s all easy after that. All you gotta do is dump the tomato sauce over the sausage and add the peppers and onions on top. Turn it on and go enjoy life. I set mine to cook 8 hours on low. You can also cook this on high for 4 – 5 hours.
This is what it looks like after a day of simmering in the slow cooker . Absolutely scrumptious! The peppers release liquid so it will be extra saucy. I made hoagies with some of the sausage and peppers and then I froze the rest of the sauce to use in a pasta recipe later on. **please note if you eat this as a hoagie the nutritional information will be higher. To keep calories down I recommend eating the hoagie open-faced with 1/2 slice of provolone.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 links Italian poultry sausage, cut links in half
- 1 jar Marinara sauce
- 6 bells peppers, seeds removed and sliced
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the Italian sausage and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until browned and almost cooked through.
- Add sausages to the slow cooker. Pour the sauce over top and then add the peppers and onions over top.
- Place the lid on and set the slow cooker to cook for 8 hours on low.
- To make hoagies place 2 sausages on a hoagie. The put some peppers and onions over top. Top the hoagies with a ½ slice of provolone cheese and cook under the broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted. To keep calories down I recommend eating the hoagies open faced.
- This can also be served over your favorite pasta.
This recipe can be made completely ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for future meals. You also can prep the slow cooker the night before and turn it on in the morning. Store the crock in the refrigerator.